A photo of the Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien.I blogged a short while back about how Scotland’s Roman Catholic Cardinal, Keith O’Brien, had resigned his office in the wake of allegations made against him by four erstwhile seminarians, three of whom are currently priests in good standing. It turns out the allegations were substantial. The BBC reports O’Brien admitted wrongdoing and apologized for it (WebCite cached article):

Cardinal Keith O’Brien has admitted that his sexual conduct has at times “fallen beneath the standards expected of me”.

In a statement, he apologised and asked forgiveness from those he had “offended”.…

The statement issued through the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland read: “In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them.

“However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.

“To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise.

“I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”

The cardinal — who initially said he was taking legal advice when the allegations against him were made public — had been due to retire later this month when he turned 75.

Note how O’Brien’s putative “apology” is, in reality, no such thing! It is, rather, an example of the “non-apology apology.”

Consider: He said he’d first disputed the allegations because they were “anonymous and non-specific,” and only acceded once he knew who was behind them and what their details were. Excuse me? Did his guilt somehow, magically, change once the names and details became known? Did he not recognize his own past behavior in the allegations, while they were anonymous? Was he unable to connect the dots between his assaults on seminarians and the merely anonymous and generalized initial reports?

I seriously doubt it worked that way. He had to have known where the allegations came from, and to which events they referred. He must have. Nothing else makes any sense.

Also, O’Brien did not apologize to the seminarians he’d assaulted. Rather, he apologized only “to those I have offended.” Excuse me? How, exactly, is assaulting people merely “offending” them? Why is he equating a physical attack with mere “offense,” such as insulting someone? Seriously, Cardinal … WTF?

Put these together and it’s apparent that O’Brien does not really understand what he did, what he was accused of, or the severity of it all. Despite the appearance of having apologized for it, he’s done no such thing, and I don’t see any evidence that he accepts the reality of what he did.

Which, of course, is typical of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. They accept responsibility for nothing, and never admit guilt. Anything and everything but them is responsible for everything the Church does wrong.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  • Paul DeMunnik

    Cardinal O'Brien's belated and vague fessing up
    Reads like a spin doctor's dressing up
    Until the mea culpa has a maxima added
    Any apology is going to sound vapid
    So come clean, beat your breast and quit messing up.

    • PsiCop

      Thanks for the great poetry! 🙂